Website Design for Local Business
Does your company website “look great?”
Or does it actually attract people looking for your products or services and lead them to contact you, come to your location and convert them into paying customers? Marketing a small business effectively these days requires a proper digital marketing strategy, and the cornerstone of that plan is your company’s website design. But how should your website perform? What should it accomplish? The simple answer is that it should effectively present an appealing image of your business’s products and services, engage people that are actively searching for those products and services, and cause them to act by either asking for more information, visiting a physical store or office location, or placing an order online. Most importantly, the website must be positioned where the potential customer will find it (before your competitors) when searching!
To cause your local company or small business website to meet these goals and be an effective marketing tool, a number of factors, both seen and unseen, need to be built in to the design.
With customers primarily relying on the internet to find a product or service company for their needs, a well-designed website that they can find quickly and that engages them and pulls them in, is crucial to the success of a local business. A modern website must be user friendly, attractive, and must communicate enough information about your company to get the searcher to look further and ultimately to contact or visit your business. More importantly, it must be easy to find AHEAD of your competition! Everyone knows that when they’re searching for something online, they usually look no further than the first few websites in the search results page. It is critical that your website be up in those first few listings.
If you want your company website to be seen by searchers looking for your service or product, a properly designed and built website is absolutely essential.
First Impressions are Everything
First impressions are EVERYTHING – When people search the web they move quickly. They know what they’re looking for, and if it’s your product or service, your website must capture their attention in about 2 seconds. Really! That’s how long the average person looks at a web page before moving on or looking deeper for more information on your website. Your website is the virtual storefront of your business online. The design of the website’s pages needs to be visually appealing, inspire confidence and communicate a message about what you do and how you do it, quickly and effectively. Your company logo, website colors, fonts, images, and design flow of the content all showcase your company and when website design is done properly, will separate you from your competitors online and get potential customers to check you out before them.
The “User Experience” is a Big Deal
When a user finds your website and starts to look through it, they must be able to navigate through it quickly and find what they want or they will click out and go on to your competitor. The basic setup of the pages, links and content should be logical, easy-to-read or see, and lead the user on a smooth journey about your company, its products or services and then lead them to take some type of action RIGHT NOW. It should answer their questions about what they’re searching for, be simple while communicating your message, and keep them on the site as long as possible. Menus should be simple and effective, fonts and colors appealing, and the images on the pages should convey information that helps people understand your company and what it can do to solve their wants and needs.
Any website today MUST be Mobile Responsive
Any website design these days MUST be mobile responsive – As you are well aware, cell phones have taken the place of computers and even tablets as most people’s primary device used for online searching and research, especially when they’re looking for a product or service. A website being “mobile responsive” simply means that it looks the same on any device whether a computer screen, a tablet, or a cell phone. A website that looks great on a large screen must be able to respond to fit onto smaller screens and look the same (or close). The menus, text, images and links need to perform properly and look as good on the small screen as the big one, with no less of an engaging user experience. Websites must be designed properly to achieve this result.
Showcase your Products and Services
The most important part of your business is the product or service you provide right? The company website is the digital storefront window that allows a customer to see what you offer and why they should buy from you. It should very effectively capture their attention and cause them to act. A well designed website will combine high quality images, videos, and text content that quickly and clearly show the products or services you offer, and how they will meet the readers’ wants and needs or solve an issue for them (such as a repair service). The most important thing is that it needs to cause visitors to take an action like visiting or contacting your business, asking for more information, or purchasing online. And of course, preferably before buying from your competition! Proper presentation of what your company offers, why the customer should purchase from you, and how they can easily start the process, will result in more leads, more traffic, more sales, and more revenue and growth. A proper website will make this happen.
In the world of online marketing, establishing trust is essential. If a potential client, customer, or buyer is searching on the internet for a product or service, it means they probably don’t already know of or have a referral to a company they can trust to meet their needs. Would you do business with a company that you don’t feel you can trust? Of course not! People searching online won’t either. But how can you establish that trust factor online? First, your website must convey a professional and credible image. If it looks dated, confusing or just plain cheap, it will not give a potential client or customer a feeling of trust. Have you ever seen a dirty or rundown physical storefront? Would you do business there? Probably not. It’s the same with a website, as it is the actual digital storefront of your company. It needs to look good! It also needs to show real evidence of WHY someone should trust the business, its owners and employees. Customer reviews, service certifications, high quality images and videos and proof of your employees experience and training all convey credibility. The website should highlight as many of these items as possible. Even things like poorly crafted content or misspellings can cause people to lose trust and move on to a competitor. A small business website should also highlight the people that make up the company. Small and local business customers and clients are more comfortable dealing with the real people in your company than a name or a logo. Your website should show that! A robust and personalized “About Us” section highlighting the business owners and employees gives a sense of trust and familiarity. Combined with reviews and proof of company credibility it goes a long way to enticing people to do business with you.
All these factors are important to consider when designing and building a website for any business, but especially small and local focused ones. Effective online marketing is crucial for any small business and a website is the center piece of those efforts. Its design should start with a targeted strategy and vision and incorporate elements and content that work together. So how do we make your company website work for you to dominate your competition in online searches, bringing in tons of new business and riches galore?
The Design Process-What’s Next?
Contact me to discuss your company’s needs and goals, and how we can achieve them. Although I use a team of professionals, I work one-on-one with you throughout the entire process. Interview me and decide if we can work together.
This is the most important part of the process! We’ll meet so I can learn the details of your business and develop your vision for how your website will look.
This is when I go to work for you. My team and I will research your competition and develop a plan to build a website that shows off your business and that we can build on with future content and SEO strategies to dominate your market space in online search.
We begin building your site. Much like building a house, your website needs a proper framework with unseen elements built in to get it to rank highly in search results and dominate your market space. As we build your website we’ll be checking in throughout the process for your input and approvals of style and content. I believe in working closely with you to ensure that you get a finished website that you’ll be proud of.
I will personally review your website content for accuracy, and test all of its functionality like links and forms. I’ll make sure everything looks great before we launch it.
Approve & Launch
I’ll give you time to look over the website for any final tweaks and the when you’re ready we’ll launch it live online.